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Independent Youth Opportunities For Ages 12 - 13

"Be the CHANGE you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

More Youth Opportunities:

Ages 14-15  |  Ages 16-17  |  Youth and Families (all ages)

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Collect Gifts for Children

The mission of Friends of Karen is to provide emotional, financial, and advocacy support to children with a life-threatening illness and their families. As a part of this effort, Friends of Karen is recruiting local volunteers who can help organize material drives in their communities. Volunteers can help in the following ways: Easter & Passover Project: Collect gift cards to local grocery stores so families may have a special holiday meal. Birthday Program: Collect items for the birthday toy pantry. Thanksgiving Baskets: Put together a basket of Thanksgiving food and a $20 gift certificate at for the turkey. Holiday Adopt-A-Family Program: Fulfill the holiday wishlists of Karen children and families, as well as donate batteries (AA and AAA), gift wrap, bows, tape, and holiday candy. Email the volunteer coordinator for wishlists and details. Gift cards for the following grocery stores are welcome: A&P, Food Emporium, Stop & Shop, or ShopRite. #remotevolunteer

North Salem, NY

Through 12/31/20

Volunteer Food Drives

Hudson Valley Community Services' food pantry program is seeking donations of nonperishable foods, toiletries, and household cleansers. Interested volunteers can organize a food collection drive at their school, club, religious organization, or place of business. HVCS can assist with picking up the goods and bringing them to the Hawthorne food pantry. In the past, student groups have even organized canned food drives at supermarkets!

Hawthorne, NY

Through 12/31/20

Entertainers For Kids in Need

Every child deserves to have a birthday party! We Celebrate You (We C U) is a nonprofit organization that arranges monthly birthday parties for children living in a Mount Vernon homeless shelter. Every party will have entertainment, pizza, cake, party favors, and a book for each child who attends. Any child who has a birthday during that month will also receive a birthday present. Volunteers with special talents, such as making balloon animals, face-painting, playing music, or acting as clowns or kid-friendly characters, are needed to help entertain kids for an hour. Parties occur one Saturday per month and run from 12-1:30 p.m. The fun activity will take place in the first hour, followed by pizza and cake.

Mount Vernon, NY

Through 12/14/20

Write Letters and Cards to Seniors

During the coronavirus pandemic, vulnerable populations—including seniors and those with compromised immune systems—are especially at risk. Many people are staying at home and practicing social distancing to limit the spread. Volunteers can help prevent loneliness and isolation by writing letters and making cards and mailing them to a local nursing home. This is a project for all ages and is the perfect activity for volunteers who are confined to their homes. IMPORTANT: Once the letters and cards are complete, place them in an envelope and seal it with water—do not lick the envelope—and wait 48 hours before mailing to help minimize the possible spread of germs. Please refrain from discussing politics and religion.

Sleepy Hollow, NY

Through 5/31/21

Create Inspirational Video Messages For Seniors

One Change at a Time's popular "Bridging Generations" program focuses on connecting younger and older generations. This program typically takes place in long-term care facilities, such as the Dumont Center in New Rochelle. With these facilities being closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 outbreak, One Change at a Time is looking for new ways to conduct this program so local seniors can stay connected and inspired! Inspired by the American Health Care Association's #CareNotCOVID campaign, youth and adults who are at home can create encouraging and inspirational videos in support of residents in long-term care facilities and seniors in the community. Volunteers can use the tags #CareNotCOVID and #1Change when they post their videos online and on social media. Help make a difference in a local senior's day by recording a fun, inspirational video message to let them know you're thinking of them. This is a great virtual project for families and students who are at home. To volunteer: Express interest below to record this opportunity in your Volunteer New York! profile Follow the instructions on the #CareNotCOVID page for tips on recording and sharing your video. Remember to tag #CareNotCOVID and #1Change on social media!

Virtual (Virtual)

Through 12/31/20

Create Face Masks For Your Community

Masks For NY is encouraging locals to pick up their sewing needles and start crafting masks to provide to healthcare heroes, essential workers, and neighbors in need. This is a wonderful remote activity that families can do together from home or that teens can complete for their community service requirements. To volunteer: Express interest below to record this opportunity in your Volunteer New York! profile MANDATORY: Visit to find instructions to make masks, donate masks or materials, or become a hub. There will be no further follow-up from Volunteer New York!; this is an independent home project

Elmsford, NY

Through 12/31/20

Grow-a-Row Home Gardeners to Support Hunger Relief

As a result of COVID, food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters have seen the demand for food more than double. Hilltop Hanover Farm welcomes any home vegetable gardeners and green thumbs to donate their newly picked, clean, and sorted produce as part of the farm's “Grow-A-Row” program. Once donated, the farm will consolidate all donations and deliver them to one of its food pantry partners for immediate distribution. No matter how big or small the harvest, any and all of the produce donated gets somewhere it is needed Donation days are Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. To volunteer: Express interest below to record this opportunity in your Volunteer New York! profile Donate your vegetables on any of the donation days (Mondays, Fridays, or Saturdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.) to the following address: Hilltop Hanover Farm 1271 Hanover Street, Barn F Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Yorktown Heights, NY

Through 9/3/21

Make Window Cards to Check In With Neighbors

During the coronavirus pandemic, vulnerable populations—including seniors and those with compromised immune systems—are especially at risk. Many people are staying at home and practicing social distancing to limit the spread. Fortunately, there are still ways to volunteer in the community while staying safe. People who are home and looking to help can check in with their neighbors by knocking on their doors (keeping a safe distance) or giving them a call to see what they need. You can also use these Neighborhood Wellness Cards to create color-coded packets so neighbors can alert you through their windows when they have a need. The community is stronger and more resilient when we come together! ​By expressing interest in this opportunity below, you're helping Volunteer New York! better understand the number of community members taking action during this pandemic. IMPORTANT: If you think you may be sick or are feeling unwell, or have been in contact with someone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, please do not sign up for this opportunity. (Feel better!) To volunteer: Express interest below to let us know you've vowed to check in on your neighbors during this crisis. Choose one or more neighbors to check-in with. Reach out to them by phone, video chat, email, or with a visit from a safe distance (i.e. standing outside their door or window). Let them know you were thinking of them and ask how they're feeling. Ask them if they'd be willing to use Neighborhood Wellness Cards so they can easily let you know if they need help. If they aren't sure how to protect themselves, share the CDC's guidelines with them here. If they're reporting symptoms, remain at a safe distance and offer to help them contact their primary physician or healthcare provider so they may seek medical guidance. See the CDC's guidelines here for instructions.

Virtual (Virtual)

Through 12/31/20

Knit or Crochet Baby Blankets and Hats

Volunteers who love to knit or crochet are needed to help make baby blankets and hats for the New York Milk Bank. These cozy items will be included in gift baskets that are delivered to new moms. Blankets should be just large enough for a stroller or car seat (about 30 x 30 inches or 36 x 36 inches). All colors are accepted, but gender-neutral is always appreciated. Matching hats should be sized for newborns to one-year-olds. The New York Milk Bank is the first comprehensive nonprofit milk bank based in New York State. It collects milk from carefully screened donors, pasteurizes it, and distributes it to infants in New York State and the surrounding area.

Through 12/31/21

Virtual Reading Parties for Kids

Pajama Program aims to spark the imagination of children everywhere and bring communities together by hosting Virtual Reading Parties. Volunteers will pre-record themselves reading their favorite storybooks to help children connect and to help promote healthy bedtime routines during these uncertain times. Express interest below to find out more information on how to volunteer by reading your favorite children's book. These pre-recorded readings are posted on Pajama Program's Instagram and Facebook pages every weeknight for kids to enjoy.

Virtual (Virtual)

Through 8/12/21